US Holiday 2022 Retail Returns

Extended Shopping Season and Changing Consumer Behavior Bring New Pressures

Executive Summary

Deal-seeking by consumers, heavy discounting by retailers, and an extended holiday shopping period that starts in early October all contributed to an uptick in holiday returns in 2022. Similar conditions are expected in 2023, so retailers need to plan carefully to limit the impact of returns.

Key Question: What factors drove the increase in retail returns during the 2022 holiday season, and what’s the outlook for 2023?

KEY STAT: At least 10% of orders were returned each week from November 2022 to mid-January 2023, per Salesforce data, as US shoppers returned more—and earlier—than in the previous holiday season.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Overall return rates are declining, but the 2022 holiday season saw a bump in ecommerce returns.
  3. A perfect storm of factors fueled increased returns during the 2022 holiday season.
  1. Retailers are responding by changing their ecommerce return policies.
  2. Third-party drop-off locations became consumers’ top choice for ecommerce returns.
  3. How retailers can prepare for another increase in returns during the 2023 holiday season.
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

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Sky Canaves


Suzy Davidkhanian
Principal Analyst, Retail & Ecommerce
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst, Retail & Ecommerce
Amy Rotondo
Director, US Research

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